Monday, October 1


Yeah, yeah, I got it.

Over the weekend I went out and just got myself the Apple iPhone (the 8GB version, not the discontinued 4GB model). Of course, I'm not alone- quite a few people have availed of the much-hyped device after the thing was unlocked for use with any SIM thanks to hackers extraordinaire that have defied the dictatorial will of the Mac Lords. I've been thinking about it last week every day, and on Saturday I acted on these thoughts. I traded in my 80 Gig iPod, added some cash, and got my iPhone. It was a bit funny to know that I was the first buyer of an iPhone from that particular stall I availed at, and there was a fair bit of commotion as me and sellers alike ooohhed and ahhhed at the phone as we unboxed my specimen. I have to say, once I had the thing in front of my, I was hooked. It looked so much prettier in the flesh than in all the Youtube videos I've been subsisting on online. And darn, it feels so solid and nice in the hand despite it's svelte slimness.
The sellers were inexperienced with setting up the phone, but they did manage to insert my SIM into it, so I wasn't completely left up a creek without a paddle. Still, it took me walking around V-Mall being very self-conscious and fiddling with the phone before I finally managed to make a successful call and be convinced that indeed, I had bought a replacement for my PDA Phone and not a slimmer, smaller-capacity iPod.

Anyway, after getting home my first order of business was, of course, to input my contacts and sync the phone to iTunes on my PC. It actually took most of the night to do the former- I had to do it by hand (at least I was able to get some practice using the virtual keyboard anyway). The rest of the night and early morning hours was spent getting the darn thing to talk to my computer so I could use it's prodigious media powers. It was a pretty chore, since I had to find and install Windows XP Service Pack 2 and then update iTunes to the latest version. Once all that was done though, I was able to sync my iPhone, loading it up with some videos and tunes.

What can I say? The darn thing is gosh-darn gorgeous. Just sitting there, it looks like a sleek slate of obsidian, ringed by silver. It's seamless and smallish-looking (it's a lot smaller than my XDA IIi), with most of the face taken up by the lovely, huge, 3.5 inch screen. It's all about the screen, I have to say, though side by side, in plain real estate my O2's screen is actually bigger... but the iPhone's has better resolution, brightness, colors and contrast. Watching video or even just looking at pics is damn fine on the iPhone's screen. Damn fine indeed. And better yet, unlike regular iPods, you can listen to music or sounds without the need for earphones, so this is indeed a media player you can just whip out in a moment for use.

But of course, even though it's a heavenly media player, is it a great phone? Let me say that it has lots of quirks. It certainly has lots of flaws like the inability to send a text to multiple recipients, no custom ringtones, weak-sounding text alerts and no cut-and-paste functions. But then, I knew all that coming in (I've read pretty much every review online). My likes overweigh all the dislikes and hiccups.

I'm already pretty used to just using my fingers to type, prod and use a touchscreen. I can live without MMS. I really don't need the functions that I can't use (Stocks? Weather? Maps?), and I don't really use PIM or email functions on a mobile. The camera, even though only a still camera, is quite excellent, even in low light situations, and that's more than I can ever say for my previous phone's almost useless camera. And the memory- you can only use about 7.2 Gigs, but that's a lot more than my previous ceiling of 4 Gigs with SD Cards. I don't need or use 3G or EDGE. If I can get the WiFi and Youtube apps to work, that will be a bonus. Most of my content I love to find, encode and sync on the phone myself. I'll miss DIVX and the TCPMP, but the quality of MP4 softens the blow. I'll have to build up a whole new library of videos again, but that's already a hobby of mine so no problem.

All that, and the phone's damn gorgeous.

I'll still be learning how to use the thing, getting used to the idiosyncracies and little cranks in the week ahead most likely. Right now, I'm just having so much fun just playing with the physics-enabled scrolling. I guess I have to get a belt case since just putting it in my pocket is a no-no. But even with the hassles of starting up my new mobile phase, I'm pretty happy- it's been a while since I got really excited about a phone again, so I'm enjoying the rush once more. WOOHOO!!!

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